The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 3rd March 2017

Top Story

Enterprise and partnership needed for the future: Heng
Detailed economic plans are no longer enough for Singapore as it moves into an uncertain future, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday.  Instead, what the country needs urgently is a pervasive sense of enterprise and partnership so that risks – wherever and whenever they crop up – can be mitigated, he said in his Budget 2017 round-up speech.  In positioning the Budget as a forward-looking one, he said to Parliament: “The world is changing, but we do not know for certain the pace and the direction of change. … What we need is not a cast-in-stone roadmap, but a spirit to constantly forge forward, and to find a new way forward.

Jiak Kim, Toh Tuck, Owen sites top draws in GLS: consultant
The land parcels at Jiak Kim Street, Toh Tuck Road and Owen Road are the most outstanding sites available in the first half of government land sales (GLS) this year, according to property consulting firm Edmund Tie & Co.  Close contenders include the Woodleigh Lane site and the Fourth Avenue site, the firm said in a report released on Thursday.  Edmund Tie & Co’s GLS report ranks land parcels based on scores in four criteria: location; competition from existing and upcoming projects in the vicinity; established neighbourhoods; and upcoming areas under Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) plans.

Singapore Economy

Singapore manufacturing expands again in February but at a slower clip
Singapore’s manufacturing sector continued expanding in February for the sixth consecutive month, albeit at a marginally slower rate.  The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 50.9 – down 0.1 point from January – as a result of a slower expansion rate in factory output, new orders, new exports and lower imports.  Economists said the drag in expansion could possibly have come from the seasonality effect and the softening of bullish sentiments.

S’pore must stay attractive for work, business: Heng
At a time when other economies are lowering corporate tax rates, Singapore must do what it can to remain an attractive place for work and business, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday.  But this should not compromise the sustainability of fiscal revenue, he added. “In more recent years, more countries have lowered – or announced their intention to lower – corporate income tax rates,” Mr Heng said in his round-up speech for Budget 2017. The United Kingdom and the new administration in the United States are planning to lower corporate tax rates, he noted.

Ties with China multifaceted and strong: Josephine Teo
The friendship Singapore shares with China is one that has developed over the years, with the foundation laid in the early days by late state leaders Lee Kuan Yew and Deng Xiaoping, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Josephine Teo said in Parliament yesterday.  Successive generations of officials and leaders on both sides continued building on the relationship.  Such strong friendship and goodwill allow both countries to speak candidly with each other, and discuss concretely how the relationship can be elevated, said Mrs Teo, speaking during the debate on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ budget.

Singapore Real Estate

Second Reit ETF on SGX launching this month
Another real estate investment trust (Reit) exchange-traded fund (ETF) will soon be listed on the local bourse, pandering to investors’ appetite for low-cost yield products.  Called NikkoAM-StraitsTrading Asia ex-Japan Reit ETF, it tracks the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Asia ex-Japan Net Total Return Reit index, focusing on Reits listed in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Good Class Bungalow at Garlick Ave to be sold for S$23.88 million
Property developer Sustained Land’s boss, Douglas Ong, is buying a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) along Garlick Avenue in District 10.  The S$23.88 million price translates to S$858 per square foot (psf) based on the freehold land area of 27,829 sq ft. Market watchers consider the psf price to be on the low side, even if the transaction is seen as reflecting purely the land value.

More co-working spaces sprouting up in CBD as demand rises
Property developers are leasing more space to co-working space operators, even as demand rises from businesses in the new economy looking for flexible work areas.  Currently, there are 53 co-working space locations in Singapore, almost one-third of which are in the Central Business District (CBD) – up from about one-fifth of the overall 40 co-working offices a year ago, according to real estate company Cushman and Wakefield.

Companies’ Brief

Bukit Sembawang Estates’ shares soar on research report
Shares of Bukit Sembawang Estates surged on Thursday after a research house estimated that the property developer is worth S$7.55 a share, on the basis that the price of undeveloped land is marked to market.  On Thursday, DBS Group Research said in its report: “If we factor in its full development potential from its undeveloped landbank, excluding any potential uplift in plot ratio, revaluation net asset value could rise to S$10.35 a share.”

KepReit Mgt ex-CEO Ng Hsueh Ling quits Keppel group
Former Keppel Reit Management CEO Ng Hsueh Ling has left Keppel Corporation at the end of January, just before she was about to assume a newly carved out role at the Keppel group as director of new businesses.  Ms Ng was originally scheduled to cross over to Keppel Corporation on Feb 1, the same day she would cease to be CEO of Keppel Reit. But that cross-over did not take place as she quit before Feb 1.  When approached by BT, Keppel Corporation spokesman confirmed that Ms Ng “has left the group for personal reasons”.

SGX piles more pressure on Sabana Reit manager
It’s not very often that Singapore Exchange (SGX) queries a firm over the resignation of a non-executive director, but that the frontline regulator deemed it fit to do exactly that amid a unitholder rebellion against the manager of Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit), a saga that it is evidently keeping close tabs on, may be telling.  On Monday, Sabana Reit’s manager, Sabana Real Estate Investment Management, announced the resignation of Ng Shin Ein from the board effective May 23. The contents of the resignation letter piqued great interest as Ms Ng cited “certain internal dynamics” that have hampered her ability to contribute to the Reit manager, compounded further by unhappy unitholders’ action to kick out the manager.

Frasers Centrepoint acquires Japanese shell company
Frasers Centrepoint Limited (FCL), through its wholly owned subsidiary Frasers Hospitality Trust Management, has acquired all the equity interests in a Japanese godo kaisha known as AIA7 GK for 195,114 yen (about S$2,439).  In a filing to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Thursday, it said that the acquisition is a shell Japanese limited liability company and has been renamed as Frasers Hospitality Japan Trust Management GK.  FCL said the purchase was made in connection with the provision of management services in relation to asset enhancement works for the retail component of ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe, a property owned by Frasers Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust.

Mandarin Oriental’s full-year profit down 38.2%
British hotel group Mandarin Oriental posted on Thursday a 38.2 per cent fall in its full-year net profit as weak demand persists in key cities.  The mainboard-listed company said in a statement that earnings were lower in 2016 due to weaker demand in Hong Kong, London and Paris. It added that its Paris operations were impacted due to ongoing travel security concerns.  Net profit for the year ended Dec 31, 2016 was US$55.2 million, compared to US$89.3 million the year before, after deducting non-trading items in each year. Earnings per share was 4.40 US cents, a fall from 7.44 US cents the previous year.

Hongkong Land Holdings posts 66% rise in FY16 profit on revaluation gain
Hongkong Land Holdings on Thursday reported a full-year net profit of US$3.3 billion, up 66 per cent year on year, lifted by a US$2.5 billion gain recorded on the revaluation of the group’s investment properties.  This translates to earnings per share of 142.23 US cents, almost double the 85.50 cents a year ago.  Revenue for FY16 came in at US$2 billion, down 3.2 per cent.  Underlying profit for the 12 months as at end December 2016 was down 6 per cent to US$848 million.

PropertyGuru to Turn Profitable This Year After Expansion Spurt
PropertyGuru Pte, the top Southeast Asian real estate website backed by TPG Capital, expects to become profitable this year as it digests a clutch of acquisitions and rides growth in markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam.  “We have hyper-growth, our revenues are growing over 30 percent,” Chief Executive Officer Hari Krishnan, 39, said in an interview in Singapore. “We are a market leader in four of the five markets and the largest in the region by any measure whether traffic, total listings, revenues.”

Views, Reviews & Forum

Relook 30-month waiting time before EC sellers can buy flats
Under the rules governing the sale of an executive condominium (EC), I have to wait for 30 months after selling my unit before I am eligible to apply for a new EC, or a new Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat.  I would like to appeal to the Ministry of National Development and the HDB to review this particular rule. When I first bought my current EC, I had to fulfil a set of eligibility conditions and a Minimum Occupation Period of five years before I could sell my EC to a Singapore citizen or a permanent resident.

Global Economy & Global Real Estate

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China anchors market stability in face of an accelerated Fed

Residents, campaigners battle to save Bangkok’s ‘Green Lung’

Booming nations in Asia grapple with rise in shantytowns

Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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